A truck driver has been jailed for 12 years after he tried to hide £1.25 million worth of heroin found in his crisps delivery.
Dariusz Urban, 49, from Poland, was detained on 15 April when he arrived at Harwich International Port in Essex.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) had tipped-off Border Force about his arrival after infiltrating a criminal communications network - EncroChat.
Over four years they managed to gain “millions of pieces of information” relating to the activities of crime organisations in the UK.
Border Force discovered 25 kilograms of heroin (50 packets) in Urban’s lorry’s steel vehicle ramps which may have been worth as much as £1.25m if sold on the streets.
An EncroChat phone was also seized from Urban and an international drug supplier who mentioned his detention on the network was later arrested in the Netherlands.
On Thursday, Urban was jailed for 12 years at Chelmsford Crown Court after admitting attempting to import Class A drugs.
NCA Deputy Director Matt Horne, who is the gold commander on Operation Venetic, said: “Darius Urban’s sentencing is another example of the impact the NCA, Border Force and UK policing are having on serious organised crime.
“Like many other cases, with this operation we were able to plot how the drugs would be picked up and moved and when would be best to strike.
“There is much more to come.”
NCA branch commander Mark Spoors added: “Stopping drugs traffickers is a top priority – and we’ll continue working with our partners at home and abroad to do it.”